How does Google decide which knowledge panel to show when multiple people share the same name

Voices of Search Podcast- Knowledge Panels for People vs Companies Hosted by Ben Shapiro

In this short video clip, Jason Barnard and Ben Shapiro discuss why it is the other Ben Shapiro’s Knowledge Panel that appears on a search on their shared name. Google works on a concept of dominant entity and will show the person who is dominant in its mind. So, when Google understands both people as entities, what makes one dominate the other and grab the Knowledge Panel space on the Personal Brand SERP for both? Jason explains in about a minute! Watch the video right to the end.

00:00 Google presents a fact that is inaccurate
00:49 Defining an “entity”
01:28 Google decides who is the dominant entity
01:33 Combination of multiple things

Transcript from: How Does Google Decide Which Knowledge Panel to Show When Multiple People Share the Same Name?

Benjamin: …there’s a political podcaster who stole my name. I’m two years older than him, his name’s Ben Shapiro. My name’s Ben Shapiro. When somebody searches for the term Ben Shapiro In theory, that is a person, but we both have our own independent businesses, his: journalism business. I will stay out of political preferences.

What he does for a living shows up before what I show up for a living in it’s in the placement that is listed as a fact, Is it fact or fiction that he is Ben Shapiro and I am not? What do you do when you run into this problem of Google is presenting a fact that you might not think is accurate?

Jason: It’s a really good question from the perspective of you and here both entities. An entity is a thing. It’s something we can identify: a person, a business, a place, a road, a music album or film, or even a topic, but we’ll come back to the simplest of a person.

Now what we have here is two named entities with exactly the same name. So Google is saying, I have two entities, two things, two people, and they both have the same name. I need to distinguish between both of them, which is something we need to do as human beings as well. If Google has managed to understand both you and your hononym -is it called… your namesake- then it needs to decide who is the dominant entity.
And the dominant entity is a combination of multiple things. It’s a combination of Google’s understanding of that named entity. Google’s confidence in its understanding of that named entity and the probability that the person is searching for that specific named entity

Benjamin: and I am sitting here saying: I’m older, so I should have a more established Online Reputation. I’m taller. So you can say that I’m a bigger entity. I think I outweigh him by probably 30 or 40 pounds…

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